Buck's Blog

The Stream-of-Consciousness Journal of a Wargamer
  • .: Welcome to my blog :.

    I'm John R. "Buck" Surdu. I have two Web pages that contain relatively static information about my professional life (including papers I've written) and my hobby life (including information about rules I've written and my wargaming projects). This blog is where I plan to post personal tidbits, like vacation pictures, wargaming projects, etc. Enjoy!
  • Johann Wehyn von Rambo, Der Mann ohne Namen

    Posted By on September 11, 2020

    I have been working on some German Panzergrenadiers from Warlord. This is half of the batch I am painting. The other half of the batch will have the camouflage smocks.

    Toward the end of assembling this box of figures I had a bunch of weapons left over, so I decided to make a figure that is D&D meets WWII. I picture this soldier riding on horseback at the Russians with the reins in his teeth, firing multiple weapons. I call him Johann Wehyn von Rambo, Der Mann ohne Namen.


    Posted By on September 8, 2020

    The most recent issue of Miniature Wargames magazine came with a sprue of free dwarf figures for some over-the-top gothic fantasy game. I cut off some of the more egregious bits and replaced the dwarf heads with duck heads. Here are the results.

    The set come with ten dwarf figures and two war dogs. I decided that the war dogs will be the squad leaders for these ducks. As I have begun adapting Wars of Ozz for general fantasy (calling them Wars of Orcs and Dwarves — although the game will not be limited to those armies), I hope to get them on the table soon.

    Recent Plague Painting

    Posted By on August 27, 2020

    While on house arrest due to plague panic (you can’t call it quarantine, because you quarantine the sick, not the healthy), I knocked out a few more figures this week.

    A prospector from Pulp Figures.
    Another view.
    The last five women from the Pulp Figures Dangerous Dames Kickstarter.
    I think this figure was a freebie from Pulp Figures.

    “Scratch Built” Star Wars Building

    Posted By on August 26, 2020

    Top view of Star Wars building

    This weekend I started re-watching Rebels. I had a partially completed building since a year or more before my move that has been taunting me, so I decided to turn it into something for Star Wars games using Combat Patrol(TM). The original skeleton was something called War Core. These were black-core foam board shells that you could assemble and then decorate. This one had been sitting on a shelf all black and lonely for at least two years.

    The back door.

    I 3D printed some sci-fi doors and windows and some Star Wars Legion greebles that I found on Thingaverse to cover the windows and doors. I also printed the metal uprights.

    One side with two of the shutters not yet added.
    The other side.
    The front.

    I filled in the cracks and gaps in the original shell with sparkle and then sprayed the whole building with a Krylon texture paint. The paint was the brown color you see. I then printed the decorations black and dry brushed them with sliver.

    Luke and Darth having a disagreement.
    The front of the building.

    These kits come apart to reveal interior floors.

    Removing the roof.
    Removing the second story.
    Revealing the bottom floor.
    Greg made me a sign that says “Priebe’s Privvy.”

    I think War Core is now defunct, but I have one more kit left. I use several of these kits to make buildings for my pulp games set in Granville. I will keep the other one in the bag until the muse strikes me or I need a specific building for a game.

    Later Weekend Accomplishments

    Posted By on August 23, 2020

    More ducks!

    To finish out the weekend, I knocked out more ducks, because you can never have enough ducks. This was a set I found on Ebay. I already had this set, but again, you can never have too many ducks.

    And still more!

    Then I painted additional figures from the Pulp Figures Dangerous Dames Kickstarter. These, like all Pulp Figures, are fun to paint.

    Dolly Madison rescuing the portrait of George Washington when the British burned the White House (First Corps), and an explorer from Dangerous Dames.
    A priestess engaging in human sacrifice.
    Two more figures from Pulp.
    These are two of my favorites. I had fun painting the plaid.

    Early Weekend Accomplishments; More to Come

    Posted By on August 22, 2020

    This weekend is the first in a while without a lot planned. Our regular D&D Zoom game was cancelled this week, so I took my wife to the rifle range and dinner. Last night, the house across the retention pond and loud music and louder people keeping the neighborhood awake until 0500. So, I got up early and did a little painting.

    Panzerschrek teams from Steve Barber.

    The first were two Panzerschrek teams from Steve Barber. I block painted these and then washed them with Agrax Earthshade. I think the Howard Hues Field Gray works really well for German tunics with the Agrax Earthshade over them. The Germans are pictured in front of a Terrain4Games building.

    Equine Headed soldiers from Sally 4th.

    In an earlier post, I mentioned that my kids got me some Albedo Combat Patrol vehicles and stowage from Sally 4th. When the ordered them from Sally 4th, Chris Abbey threw in a pack of the new equine-headed soldiers. I painted them up this morning to match my earlier EDF forces (see the fox). These are pictured in front of the armored car, also from Sally 4th.

    Additions for Sea Lion

    Posted By on August 18, 2020

    Cardon Lloyd Carrier from Empress Miniatures

    I recently ordered a couple of kits from Empress Miniatures. I plan to use them in my Sea Lion games. The first is the Cardon Lloyd carrier (smaller than a Bren or Universal carrier). I think this is a neat kit because of the “caisson” and that it is pulling a 20mm ATR.

    The 20mm ready for action!
    This neat little machine-gun scooter and a Cardon Lloyd equipped with a machine-gun.

    These will make fine additions to a Sea Lion game if and when we are ever allowed to have another convention.

    Busy Gaming Weekend

    Posted By on August 17, 2020

    My wife was off helping my daughter move into her dorm room at college, so I was a geographic bachelor this weekend. We started the weekend with our virtual (Zoom) D&D campaign on Friday night run by Greg. Saturday morning we ran a Zoom Aztec Flower Wars game using Feudal Patrol(TM) and Mark Morin’s When Civilizations Collide Meso-American supplement for Feudal Patrol(TM).

    The players for the Aztec game.
    A view of the table from one camera.

    Mark acted as GM with the rest of us viewing the table from two directions (cameras). Mark, Woody, and I were the attackers. We had significantly more forces than the defenders, but lost big-time on points. This supplement requires the Aztecs to attempt to capture prisoners (as slaves or human sacrifices) rather than just killing them outright. Woody tried to sneak around the flank to stop the defenders from getting any prisoners back into the village, but he sprinted slower than the defenders walked, and so the flank attack didn’t really accomplish much. At the same time my assault on Chris’ unit along the hedge was mauled, despite having loner weapons and first strikes. All I accomplished was to give Chris prisoners for later sacrifice. On the other flank, Mark and Greg were going back and fort over the hedge, and it looked like Mark might capture some prisoners, but when we ended the game, the defenders had a distinctive advantage in points.

    Another view of the table from the point of view of where Mark and Greg were deeply embroiled in the fighting.

    The supplement has a number of special rules that really give the game an Aztec flavor.

    Later on Saturday and through Sunday I prepped a number of figures for painting, completed another 20 Anglo-somethings to fight Vikings, and worked on these vehicles.

    Front view of the vehicle.

    At Barrage 2019 last September I found this 3D printed tank body in a flea market bin for $5 and though it was salvageable. I used some green putty to hide the seams, 3D printed the turret (Sherman turret with plasma cannon) and painted it up. I sprayed the body and turret with Krylon love green camouflage paint and then gave it a light spray of Vallejo army green paint. While it is not clear in the pictures, that recipe gave the green some depth.

    Rear view of the vehicle with a Pig Iron infantryman.

    I had originally painted the main gun green like the rest of the tank, but then decided that it would look cooler with the blue. There are wide hatches on either side of the vehicle, so I think I’ll use this as some sort of hybrid tank/APC in some Combat Patrol(TM) science fiction skirmish games.

    A side view. The red laser bolts are removable. They came from the Bandai 1:48 AT-ST kit.

    Finally, I base sprayed a number of vehicles that I will show in a later post. I finished these 3D printed citroen trucks.

    Citroen French trucks for 1940.

    I found number of images on-line, to see about camouflage patterns, but they appear to have been just painted green in 1940.

    More Opponents for my Vikings

    Posted By on August 9, 2020

    With my wife and daughter out of town, I painted the four buildings in the previous post, and I also had a chance to work on twenty more Dark Ages infantry. The box contained 40 figures, so I am half way done.

    Today’s output.
    Dark Ages infantry to oppose my Vikings
    Anglo-Something slingers.
    Another view.
    Final view.

    These were all sprayed white and painted with Contrast paints, except the shields ant silver.

    Some months ago (last September) I picked up a failed 3D print in the flea market at Barrage. It was missing a handful of track links at different places. I found an stl file of a Land Raider (not GW), printed part of it, cut off some of the track links and then did a little surgery on the tank. While close inspection reveals the places I had to fix, I don’t think it will be obvious on the gaming table. I will dry brush it a lighter color to match the paint color on the extra Dust turret I had in my bits box. I also have an extra Panther turret, so I’ll paint it the same green (which I know is a non-historical paint scheme, but I don’t think you need to be too fussy with an ahistorical tank.

    Work on Progress Tank for sci-fi or pulp games.


    Posted By on August 9, 2020

    Three buildings from Terrains4Games Kickstarter

    Quite a while ago I invested in the the Terrains4Games Kickstarter. These arrived a few weeks ago. The pledge I made came with six buildings, a chicken coop, and a small shed. This weekend my wife and daughter were out of town, so I assembled and painted three of them. One of the things that appealed to me about these buildings is that the half-timber pieces are separate, so I can spray paint the buildings a base color and then spray the half timber pieces separately. That makes assembly fast and easy — even in Florida where the humidity makes it take a long time for spray paint to dry.

    The shed and chicken coop.

    Later today, I finished the fourth building. Here it is. Two more to go.

    I am really happy with the quality of the buildings. My only complaint is that the second story to two-story buildings is not represented. All buildings are empty shells.